That's true they don't travel well. They do seem to have some decent depth given they have had important players regularly out of the squad for the past 18 months. With that they still managed a Quarter Final at the World Cup and have had stable results.
I disagree on saying they struggled with Cyprus, I just finished watching the match and Russia thoroughly outplayed Cyprus. On another day I feel the Russians could have put 4 or 5 past Cyprus, finishing was dreadful and one of the 2 disallowed goals was definitely not offside.
The Russians are quite mobile, weak at the back. If we fail to win we can forget about finishing in the top 2.
Cyprus had 0 shots on target over 90 minutes.